Cookie Lyon of Fox's 'Empire' Sheds Rare Light on Black Women's Incarceration and Reentry

March 27, 2015 5:15 PM

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Lee Daniels's blockbuster Empire, an over-the-top soap opera featuring a prominent African American family in the rap world, has tackled a variety of subjects that most mainstream black shows fear to tread -- such as homophobia and psychiatric illness.

Yet Cookie Lyon, the mother and ex-wife of the record label's founder, sheds a rare light on black female incarceration and the challenges of prisoner reentry. Played by Taraji P. Henson, Cookie, is an old gangster with a heart of gold. She helped support her husband's rap career and financed his fl...

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